ORLANDO, Fla. —Striving to always help others is a code Orlando Police officer Keith Gibson lives by.
- Roddy Naranjo designed shirts, bumper stickers to find kidney
- Learn about organ donation
- Learn more about kidney donation
Gibson is a regular blood donor and a school security officer. Saving lives is a part of any officer's job if the situation presents itself, but he chose to step up outside of police work.
It began when he was working security at Bishop Moore Catholic High School when he noticed something odd written on a car bumper sticker.
"Well who puts this on a bumper sticker? Who looks for a kidney on a bumper sticker, right?" chuckled Gibson.
The answer turned out to be Roddy Naranjo.
"Right now I am 5 percent functional in both kidneys. So I have to do dialysis in order to remain alive," explained Naranjo.
Five years ago, Naranjo was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome, a kidney disorder. Two years ago, he had to go on dialysis.
At that point, Roddy Naranjo took matters into his own hands. He, family and friends made shirts, printed business cards and even handed out bumper stickers. It was one of those bumper stickers that Orlando Police officer Keith Gibson saw at Bishop Moore Catholic High School. (Spectrum News 13)
At that point, Naranjo took matters into his own hands. He, family and friends made shirts, printed business cards and even handed out bumper stickers. The same bumper sticker Gibson saw at Bishop Moore Catholic High School.
"He called me the next week and said, 'Hey, are you the one looking for a kidney?' I would love to help you out," recalled Naranjo.
"Isn't that why we are put on this Earth? Is to help people and make people's lives better? So I am going to let Roddy or anyone else die, if I can't give them a kidney?" reflected Gibson with an incredulous shrug.
Gibson said he knew he needed to help.
"Had the blood work done, it got sent back to Tampa General," said Gibson. "They called me a week later and said, 'Hey you are a perfect match.'"
"I thought it was in the bag, imagine my emotion," Naranjo said.
However, in the final check at Tampa General, Gibson learned one of his kidneys is abnormal.
"At that point they shut it down, and said, 'Ya know, we are done here, it's over, you can't donate,'" Gibson said. "When they told me that, I cried my eyes out."
Gibson himself delivered the tough news to Naranjo over the phone, but with it, he also made a promise.
"He basically called me and said, 'But you know, what I am going to make it a mission to kind of help you out, and we will find a kidney for you,'" Naranjo said.
"I said, 'Between you and I, we are going to find a kidney,'" commented Gibson.
Gibson started asking around. Then, he got a yes from a fellow officer's wife.
"He had passed it on to her, and she was like, 'I have always wanted to do that,'" Naranjo said.
No names just yet, but Donor K is also a perfect match. The transplant surgery is scheduled for mid-December.
Gibson and Naranjo's lives are now intertwined for the better. Gibson already plans to be one of the first faces Naranjo sees after surgery.
"Just to help your fellow man, just help your fellow man," Gibson said.